Steve Jobs – Official Trailer 1

Michael Fassbender appears to be an excellent Steve Jobs in Steve Jobs.  That being said, the trailer seems to spend a bit of time focusing on some of his more…unsavory behaviors, such has the way he was a dick toward his ex.  It comes off a bit unseemly, though I guess as long as it’s balanced by him not acting like a total ass–or being innovative–it’s all buena.

Besides, if you don’t include instances of his ego running rampant then the movie would play like a Hallmark card, which anyone at all familiar with the mercurial former head of Apple Computer would tell you isn’t quite true.

What I am certain about is that Danny Boyle is a great director, and the fact that he’s helming it should result on a pretty intense journey into the heart of the Apple.

Spring – Review

Spring movie poster

“Be careful who you love, because Spring is coming and it’s a monster.”

Some critics has described Spring as ‘Lovecraftian,’–which is what drew me to it in the first place–and while a very good movie, Lovecraftian it’s not.  For it to be so would imply that it was based on, or somehow similar or related to, the work of H.P. Lovecraft and his Cthulhu Mythos.

And it’s not, not in the least.  Sure there are monsters, some even of the aquatic variety, and lots of water; but if that made a movie Lovecraftian, then Steven Spielberg’s Jaws could be as well (which it most definitely isn’t).

Because for a movie to be called so would mean that it not only involves monsters, but embody some of the underlying ideas of Lovecraft’s Mythos, which typically revolves around sinister forces aligned against humankind, whether on a larger or  smaller scale.

Now what Spring is is an awesomely taut, interesting love story.  It’s also best watched twice because you can see the care with which Aaron Moorhead and Justin Benson craft their story.  There’s virtually no wasted frames in the entire movie, with everything you see either helping to contribute to a feeling of dread or sell the underlying premise.

Though it’s not perfect, with its weakest scene being the one where Louise (Nadia Pilker) looks into supernatural means to cure her…condition.  The problem isn’t the scene in and of itself, more so than if a person had lived as long as she had, she’d probably have tried it already (though in the movie’s defense she might have done so because she found herself growing closer to Evan (Lou Taylor Pucci) and wasn’t thinking straight.

It’s no accident that that title of the movie is Spring, because the themes of death and rebirth run through the entire movie, most often in a very clever fashion.

The season of Spring has begun on iTunes, though be careful because while love may be eternal, you’re not.

The Martian – Trailer

It may have just been me, but looking at the trailer for Ridley Scott’s The Martian the first thing that came to mind was another Scott movie, Prometheus, which features a silica storm that looks just like the one featured in this movie.

Though I am assuming that they producers are going less for hard-core science fiction more than an enhanced reality, like in the case of Alfonso Cuarón’s Gravity, which coupled a realistic premise with a not-quite-realistic action.

I am also wondering how it is that there’s a dust storm on Mars?  There’s no air, nor an atmosphere for it to exist in, so what’s blowing the sand about?  I am not a scientist of any sort, but it reads a bit odd (according to Universetoday, there’s actually air on Mars, though I assume that it’s just it’s too thin to breathe.

It’s fascinating in that its storms are caused primarily by sunlight, which causes the air to move, lifting dust from the Martian surface into the air.

Sense8 – Review

Sense8

I have to admit that based on the first episode of Netflix’s Sense8 that things weren’t going to go to well.  Reason being, while it managed to avoid the problem endemic to the Wachowskis’s Matrix sequels–which because of their tendency to ‘tell, not show’ came off a bit pretentious–it also came off a bit scattershot.

Then again, it should have been expected when you take into account the underlying premise of the series, which revolves around eight individuals from all over the world, linked by a mysterious woman (Daryl Hannah) that are somehow able to share experiences and abilities, that it would feel a bit jumpy, telling so many stories almost at once.

So, it’s initially a bit disorientating to have things start at one point, then at the next you’re in another country, with entirely different people.

Though things work themselves quickly, and once I came to learn who the characters were, everything became a lot more interesting.  In fact, structurally it reminds me quite a bit of NBC’s Heroes, except that its scale is bigger.  For instance, while  while Heroes made use of a lot of green screen and backlots in California, Sense8 was filmed on location all over the world, and it shows.

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What Makes Sense8 Work

Sun

I’m on an email list from Deadline: Hollywood, so when I learned that Dominic Patton had reviewed the upcoming Netflix series, Sense8, from Larry and Lana Wachowski, I was immediatedly curious how he felt about it (especially coming off Jupiter Ascending).

Wolfgang

Patton really enjoyed it, which I have to admit surprised me; though what I found more interesting was the positive tone of the review, as well as his speculations about the weakness of their more recent output.

Then he stumbled upon the Answer:  J. Michael Straczynski (Babylon 5, Crusade, Thor, World War Z), created Sense8 with the Warchowskis.

Lito

He’s a writer that created shows like Babylon 5, Crusade, and many others, and I suspect was able to restrain the siblings tendencies toward psychobabble (try listening to the scene in The Matrix Revolutions when Neo (Keanu Reeves) is talking to the family in the subway station without wincing) and CGI excesses (Speed Racer would have probably been a much better movie with half the budget, forcing the filmmakers to make use of more actual sets and vehicles).

Riley

I won’t know for certain till the series premieres in two days, though I am really jazzed to find out what the Warchowskis and J. Michael Straczynski have wrought.

Capheus

Nomi

Will

Tron 3 Is Dead (For Now)

Tron: Legacy trailer

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest from the House of Mouse, you probably know that Tron 3 is dead, but I have a sneaking suspicion that we haven’t heard the last word on this matter.

Why?  Because supposedly the reason for Disney’s change of mind is the weak performance of Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland.

Tomorrowland trailer

When you know that, perhaps you thought the same thing that I did, which was, Huh?

In other words, apparently Disney executives are nervous because a movie that deals with futuristic subject matter is flatlining at the box office somehow means that another movie–an entirely different movie, one that actually has a track record and a loyal (albeit cult) following–is going to fail as well.

In other words, it just doesn’t quite add up.

Pan – Official Trailer

Can we just accept that Joe Cornish is a bit overrated?  That’s not to say that there isn’t the potential for greatness, but so far most of what he’s done has been in association with Edgar Wright.

His first turn at directing was 2011’s Attack The Block (which he also wrote), a box-office failure (though let’s not for a moment equate a film being entertaining with how much money it happens to earn.  If that were the case, the Transformers movies would be the highest form of the storytelling art–which they’re not).

Despite that, his star continued to rise (for awhile he was on the short list to direct Star Trek 3, before someone decided to photon torpedo the franchise and let Roberto Orci do it. (though that ‘someone’ is either no longer at Paramount or they came to their senses, because not only is Ocri out, but his screenplay as well).

Cornish’s most recent project is Pan (based on the works of Scottish novelist J.M. Barrie).  The trailer looks pretty awesome, then again, trailers ALWAYS look awesome.

Though in terms of budget and special effects, it’s like nothing else he’s ever done. though I have to wonder if it lives up to the promise of the trailer.

And it’s worth noticing that they spoiled what sounded like a good joke (“the ‘Canada’ line) that I would have liked to have heard in the theater.  I don’t blame Cornish for that (directors don’t traditionally cut the trailers for their movies), but it’s not a great sign).